A Thought From Jane Shapiro

It is gratifying to see so many fine practitioners and educational leaders taking up the challenge of a new vision for congregational education. Optimism that we will find good answers to meet the challenges can be felt. In that light, a shout-out to Rabbi Aaron Starr of Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield, Michigan, for his post on EJewish Philanthropy.

Rabbi Starr’s work is a model of ReFrame-style thinking. Before we rush to strategies and methodologies, let’s rethink the world of our students and our families. Our schools do not “supplement” anymore. They are often the “primary” source for Jewish families.
More specifically, ReFrame thinking looks deeply at content. What do we want to teach? What do we want our students to know and feel and do? Once we grapple with a definition of content/curriculum we are posed to consider how we go about it. The specific ideas that have already been implemented at Shaarey Zedek are well worth exploration and further discussion.

Jane Shapiro

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